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What is the Difference Between Marker-based AR and Marker-less AR?

written by Saloni Agrawal | Sep 01, 2020
Marker-based AR

These days, it is possible to bring virtual objects and digital data into the physical world by Augmented Reality. Through it, the digital world is included inside the view clicked by the smartphone or camera. All this is now possible through Augmented Reality App development. In this article, we have come up with detailed information about the two basic types of AR applications that are Marker-based and Marker-less. We will tell you the whole difference between these two. This difference between both will help you to make the right decision regarding which should you go for?

Difference Between Marker-Based AR App and Marker-less AR Apps

Augmented reality sector has huge potential and in this present stage, when the technology is undergoing a large revolution in both terms of software and hardware. It is significant to know the difference between these two basic AR apps. Take a look-

Marker-Based AR

This type of AR desires for a particular image pattern in the atmosphere and overlays that virtual object on its top. Through it, the AR device’s camera will scan the input consistently and do marker- image pattern recognition. After it, it generates the geometry and locates the virtual object. The virtual object’s geometry will be ruled by geometry and the marker’s position. If the camera doesn’t have a marker’s sight, then the virtual object is lost, and it is placed again when it comes in view.

Marker-based Augmented Reality App development is better to save money as these apps working are depending on the image-recognition technology. To show the digital image to a user at the right place, the augmented real world’s piece must be recognized by the app. It can be obtained by pre-defining a specific picture that triggers the program to start the app working. This image is known as a marker. We can say that “usually, a marker is a picture or an object with various edges and corners to shorten the recognition procedure”.

These marker-based apps are used when essential to present a digital image to the real-world. In case of removal or rotation of the marker, the same will have happened to the overlaid digital image. 

Marker-based apps have good working as it refers to customer introduction to augmented reality if you have the desire to start the experience in a specific place. For instance, it works well in galleries and museums that consist of tagged exhibits with markers or acts as markers. Also, the app displays 3D images, extra information, and additional multimedia content. Here are some of the advantages of marker-based Augmented Reality App development. Here are its advantages-

  • The production cost is very cheap
  • The production is so simple and doesn’t consume much time
  • Instinctive user interaction
  • Device’s low system needs

Read More: How Much does (AR) Augmented Reality App Development Costs in 2020

Marker Less AR

In this type of AR, the virtual object is situated in the geometry generated by SLAM that is known as Simultaneous Localization and Mapping. It takes in camera feed to generate a three mesh of the atmosphere to make the software remember the milieu as a 3D model. Therefore, when a virtual object is situated in the milieu, it is located in the 3D model. So, if the camera loses the sight on coming back to this virtual object, it will still be found at the exact location. 

It is obvious that these markerless apps don’t use markers, then how do they work? These apps are also known as geo-based or location-based apps. Its functions usually depend upon technologies such as accelerometer, GPS, digital compass, and so many. 

These help to trace the position of the device and digital aspects of AR accordingly. Although, the most significant technology that permits the marker-based apps to display wonderful performance and accuracy is SLAM that includes mapping technology and localization. 

Various AR App development Companies use this to scan the programs, maps the places along with locating their position simultaneously and recognizing the surroundings. It provides an ability to developers not to stick with a similar place and to move around by not to drop out of the experience. 

In this, the system can help in recognizing some of the objects like flat surfaces, floor or table usually and using them as the initial point. No other marker is required for this as the programs compute each thing itself. It can be used in the tourism industry very well. The person who approaches for some location, this app recognizes that and offers other guides or information for the next place. Here are some of its advantages-

  • Unchanging user experience 
  • Extra capabilities of the app
  • No requirement for drawn or printed markers
  • Extra ability to move or interact around
  • More progressive technology

Variation Between Marker-Based AR Apps and Marker Less AR Apps based on Different Aspects

Marker-Based Augmented Reality

To experience a marker-based augmented reality, you need a static image that is referred to as a trigger picture that can be scanned by a person using their smartphone through an AR app. This scan from mobile will trigger the extra content like animation, video, 3d, and so on that are prepared all ready to display on top of the marker. 

As per the AR App development Company, it can be of two types- cloud-based or local. And. It simply refers that the database of marker can be gathered on any device, and there can be recognized as well. This database can be stored on the cloud too, but recognition will happen on the server as the mobile devices will only work as a sending point from cloud to server. 

If you use device-based recognition, then recognition will happen instantly, but if you choose cloud recognition, then it will take a longer time for downloading the content from the server. It takes a little while sometime before the user can look for any AR experience. In this, the trigger image or marker has to be different and should evade using stock photos, because it can be used by some other app or project as well. S, it will be good to have your different type of content or to generate a confident design to neglect these types of issues. 

For displaying your AR content and bringing amazing pictures to life, the mobile device, irrespective of the used app, will use computer vision. Have a look at these pros-

  • Prepare the marker image appropriately, and then market-based AR content delivers stable tracking and quality experience. 
  • It is easy to use, and detailed guidelines are not needed, even for people who are using it for the first time. 

Marker-less Augmented Reality  

Augmented Reality works by overall scanning of the environment and surrounding, and it uses no triggered pictures un-essentially to recover the AR content. Apps by Augmented Reality App development deliver such features that will ask the users usually to search a flat surface like floor or table for locating the AR assets. It is due to the objects that will not make any sense while floating in the air. If you want the computer vision to perceive the flat surface, it has to be rough. It will be the most challenging or even; it can be impossible to use it on a white backdrop or some other surface with a single colour. Check out its pros-

  • When you have placed the content in the room, you will get it more flexible than alternatives based on marker.  

Application Areas of Marker Less Augmented Reality and Marker-Based Augmented Reality

Marker Less AR Apps:

Visualization of Retail Products

To try how a new appliance will look into your kitchen or how things can be applied better in your room, here it is. It will make it possible to provide user to scan a real-world environment like a kitchen, bedroom, hall, etc. by mobile devices. In this, you can virtually place a thing or product to see how it will look. You can see an entirely furnished room virtually and can change their position, looking, flooring, colour, etc. Many businesses at large scale are providing this facility for their customers, and this trend is boosting with the Augmented Reality App development.


It overlays the digital data on the real world that provides better illustration of difficult concepts for all the students. There are apps for it like Elements 4D or Anatomy 4D. Museums have taken an initiative to use AR apps for the physical exhibits along with the digital data for extra or context information. If we talk about the corporate world, businesses and the US military are also using these Microsoft’s HoloLens for building experiences and training exercises for everything, right from living in a combat and mending engine of the Aeroplan.   


Markerless AR has a huge impact in the gaming sector, and it has been used in so many popular games already that are a big hit in previous years. There is more potential of applying AR in different ways in games. Multi-user and real-world games, including 3D content, can be created, users can interact with. Augmented Reality Game development had so much good beginning, and it can change the entire gaming world as well. 


By advertising, it has started life as a print advertisement based on the tracker. In this, the user can hold the device and also have a 3D character. It is already used by companies like NBA, WayFair, Gucci and Sephora. This chance can be greater if wearables like HoloLens will become common. And, people can cycle freely between various virtual layers and their experiences even in the real-world environment.   

Marker-Based AR Apps:

Image Recognition

This system is consisting of modules like image capturing, camera, rendering, image processing, display, and market tracking. The camera is used for capturing input from the camera’s live feed. And, this feed is passed then onto the module of image capturing. It identifies the feed frame by frame to create binary images. Then, these pictures are directed to an image processing module to detect the marker. The rendering module is also used to add the image with the virtual elements. And then, the display module superimposes the AR image of the environment. 

In Space

It is also used in analyzing the space activities so that there can be more accurate forecasting. Here, a camera with the AR software is used to detect the AR markers for knowing the virtual object’s location. Through it, the image can be viewed on a screen, even live too. Digital assets are also situated at the marker’s location. 

Final Verdict

AR has brought huge changes in the present market and thus, to provide development services of AR Apps, BR Softech is a leading Augmented Reality Game development company offering plentiful opportunities to general businesses. With rich experience and deep knowledge in the mobile app industry, we are here to give shape to your imaginations and to have good experience in AR app development. Feel free to connect with us!

Saloni Agrawal

I am a passionate and full-time writer with experience in academic writing and blogs related to the IT sector, High-tech, and lifestyle. I’ve grown my skills of content writing with the time and have keen interest in learning and exploring new things.

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